It’s Valentine’s Day and all over Mexico countless Casanovas and femmes fatales will be hoping the night ahead will be one to remember.
A candlelit dinner or a romantic film are tried-and-true ways to impress a partner and no doubt the nation’s fancy restaurants and movie theaters will be bursting at the seams tonight.
But for many Mexicans, another option is to take the girlfriend, boyfriend, lover or escort to a hotel de paso, or love hotel or — a better term yet — a no-tell motel.
According to a report in the newspaper Milenio, these establishments too will be busier than normal tonight, with an estimated 30% increase in patronage expected.
The president of the Puebla Association of Hotels and Motels explained that such a room in that city costs about 270 pesos (US $14.50) on average but if couples want luxurious extras such as an in-room hot tub, the price climbs to between 550 and 650 pesos (US $29-$35).
Some rooms also feature poles to facilitate provocative dancing or even a columpio de placer, or pleasure swing. The latter reportedly enables adventurous couples to get amorous while suspended in mid-air.
However, Manuel Domínguez Gabían of the hotels association, who has 30 years of experience in the industry, said those gimmicks have fallen out of favor in recent years. Today, the most requested lovemaking item is the sillón de posiciones, known in English as a Tantra or Kama Sutra chair.
Virtually all hoteles de paso also sell a range of other items to help couples get in the mood.
Domínguez told Milenio that in his 30 years in the business, he has seen the taboo of visiting such an establishment gradually diminish.
“Before, maybe you won’t believe it, but women came into the motel in the back seat [of a car] covered by a blanket. Now, they’re the ones that come down and pay the employees for the room or we see couples come in and leave on foot,” he said.
However, he admits the stigma of infidelity associated with the short-term hotels remains but explained that the market only represented a fraction of the industry’s business.
“The truth is that the majority of our customers are formal couples and there are some that live in 60-square-meter homes and they come here to find a space to express their love and their needs,” he said.
Under no circumstances is a third party allowed to enter a room, he added.
Domínguez also said that most hotels now have strict security protocols and features such as cameras that monitor most — but not all — parts of the building.
Source: Milenio (sp)